Fantasy Sports

5 Common Fantasy Football Mistakes to Avoid for Beginners

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Are you starting to gear up for fantasy football season? Maybe this will be your first time taking part in a fantasy football league. Perhaps you’re looking to finally take home the championship trophy in your league this year.

Whatever the case might be, there are a few mistakes you might make that could cost you that title. Knowing what those mistakes are will help you avoid them on your team, and capitalize on the teams that make those mistakes.

See below for several fantasy football mistakes that you will want to avoid. Keep these in your mind while you draft and as the season goes on.

1.) Not Doing Your Research

While there is certainly luck involved with fantasy football, you can’t bank on it to win your league. Luck isn’t the end-all-be-all of fantasy football champions. It takes a mixture of smart decisions and dumb luck to win week-in and week-out.

All of that starts with your research, which should be done a few weeks out of your league’s draft. This will help you when drafting different players.

As the football season draws nearer, experts will be giving you the best advice possible on who to watch out for. You can find this info online, through ESPN shows, and social media outlets like Twitter as well.

As a matter of fact, you might consider learning how to download Twitter video of experts giving you draft day advice and save it. That way, you can rewatch it all heading to the draft.

2.) Not Knowing Your League’s Rules

The rules of your league are imperative to your success. You should organize and prioritize your draft day picks based on the league that you’re playing in.

This includes knowing things such as what date and time the draft day is. If you miss it, then you’ve already doomed yourself from the start.

You should also know things such as whether or not it’s a point per reception league, how many of each position you can start each week, and so on.

For example, if your league starts two quarterbacks each week, you’ll want to prioritize those in your first two draft picks. You’ll also want to know inner workings such as free agency pickups, how many bench players you can have, etc.

3.) Drafting a Running Back in the First Round

This might be a somewhat controversial statement, but it’s rarely a good idea to draft a running back or receiver in the first round of your draft. Your focus should be on getting the best possible quarterback available with your first pick.

Recent years have shown this to be true. Look no further than David Johnson who, after having a breakout year in 2016, suffered a leg injury in the first game of the season.

Those that used their first-round pick on him were left without the player that they passed up on the likes of Drew Brees and Tom Brady for.

However, as soon as you have your quarterback and a dual-threat running back is available in the second round or later, don’t hesitate to pick them up!

4.) Sticking With the Same Team the Entire Season

Anyone who’s played fantasy football before knows this isn’t possible. There are too many bye weeks in the season for you to keep the same guys all season long. You’ll sacrifice a lot of points and wins if you do.

Instead, you need to take a little time each week to study your players. Which ones played extremely well last week? Are any players dealing with significant injuries? Is there a key player on your team that has a bye week? Be sure to look at bye weeks.

Some leagues require you to set your entire roster by the time that week’s Thursday night game has kicked off. Others allow you to switch out players until their game that week has kicked off (another important rule to know about your league in advance).

The general rule of thumb is to study your team each Tuesday. That’s when the new week’s matchup starts. You can analyze how your players produced the past week, and see how they match up against your opponent for this week.

Some leagues might also require that free agency additions be supervised by that league’s creator and take 24 hours to complete the transaction. You’ll want to give a few days for that transaction to come through.

5.) Not Making a List for Draft Night

There’s an old saying attached with fantasy football: “everyone knows exactly who they’re picking until the draft clock starts”. That couldn’t be more true. Once the clock starts for your pick, you might find yourself paralyzed with choices.

That’s why it’s important to create a fantasy football list. You can list them by player name, position, or a bit of both.

This list makes your draft night so much simpler. Once someone drafts somebody on your list, you cross them off. Then, when it’s your turn to pick again, you simply take the highest player left on your list.

If you do this by position, then you can simply see what positions you still need to pick (such as a WR2 or a starting TE) and make the pick accordingly! It removes emotion from the drafting process.

Avoid These Fantasy Football Mistakes!

Now that you’ve seen several fantasy football mistakes that you need to avoid, it’s time for you to start with step one and get to researching your future team!



Be sure to make a copy of your draft-pick list (point number five) for each league that you’re partaking in. For example, if you’re in 3 separate leagues, make 3 copies of the same draft player list to help you on draft day.

Make sure to browse around our website for more articles on fantasy football, as well as many other helpful topics!

About Andy Stitzer

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